‘Big pot of gold’ for Uhuru Cup

‘Big pot of gold’ for Uhuru Cup

Maseru – Econet Premier League big guns Bantu and Lioli avoided each other in Wednesday’s draw for the revamped 2017 Independence Cup which will see a record M200 000 jackpot for the winners. The yearly showpiece which features the top four finishers from the previous league season was launched at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

Amid the fanfare the main excitement came from news of another shot in the arm by co-sponsors Standard Lesotho Bank and Metropolitan Lesotho who are putting up a record M200 000 pot of gold for this year’s champions.

The prize is M50 000 more than last season’s first place winnings and double the amount from two years ago as Lesotho’s oldest tournament continues to grow from strength to strength. The winnings for the other three spots have also increased.
The runners up are set to earn M100 000 while the third and fourth place finishers will receive M70 000 and M50 000 respectively.
The improved prize money is delightful news for the clubs and, for fans, so is the possibility of an epic final between league champions Bantu and reigning Independence Cup kings, Lioli.

For that to happen, however, the rivals will have to navigate difficult semi-final ties.
Lioli will face 2005 winners Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) while Bantu will play Kick4Life, the dark-horses who are making their first appearance in the competition after a sterling 2016/17 campaign.

The tournament, as always, will be played at Setsoto Stadium.
The semi-finals will take place on October 7 and with the final the following day to decide this year’s champions and if Bantu and Lioli’s domination of the competition will continue.

Incredibly, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ and ‘Tse Nala’ have shared the last six Independence Cup titles between themselves.
It will also be interesting to see who will be crowned player of the tournament because individual prizes have also increased – this year the competition’s best player will go home M8 000 richer.

The motto for this year’s Independence Cup is ‘Re etsa fela’ and, speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Standard Lesotho Bank marketing manager, Manyathela Kheleli, said Bantu, Lioli, Kick4Life and LCS would do community projects as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) duties.
“The four teams that will be participating in this year’s Independence Cup will be giving back to the community like last year as part of their CSI.

This year Lioli has chosen to visit St Cecilia’s (Orphanage) on the 27th of this month,” Kheleli said.
“Bantu have chosen Morapeli Disabled Centre and they will visit the centre on the 22nd while Kick4Life and LCS will do theirs on the same day. Kick4Life have chosen Thetsane High School and LCS will visit Holy Innocent School.”

Independence Cup prizes:
Winners – M200 000
Runners up – M100 000
3rd place – M70 000
4th place – M50 000
Individual prizes:
Man of the match – M3 000
Player of the Tournament – M8 000
Top Goal Scorer – M6 000
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – M6 000
October 7
Kick4Life vs. Bantu (13:00)
LCS vs. Lioli (15:00)
October 8
Third place playoff

Luciah Phahla

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